Budgeting for your first home?
To make the leap from renter to homeowner, you’ll need to save, or have already started saving, for a down payment. A down payment is typically between three to twenty percent of the purchase price of a home, on average. That may feel overwhelming if you’re just starting out, but setting up a budget and finding creative ways to save money over time can help.
If you already have a designated monthly savings bucket, that’s a great start. Of course, the more you’re able to put away, the faster you’ll reach your savings goals for your home. Here are ideas to help make that happen.
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- Get a Side Job – If you’re willing to put in a little more work on the weekends or in the evening after your day job, the money you earn from a side gig can offer numerous creative ways to save and earn more money.
- Cancel Subscriptions – Do you really need twelve different streaming services? Do you have apps or subscriptions you can live without? Try cutting back to just one streaming service. These savings may be much more doable than you imagine.
- Save Your Tax Refund – It can be tempting to spend your tax refund right after you receive it. But consider saving it to go toward your home down payment.
If you receive a refund when you file your income tax returns, add that lump sum to your savings. Alternatively, you can use it to make an extra payment toward your highest APR debt. The more you save, the more interest income you can earn. The more debt you eliminate, the less interest expense you’ll pay.
As you’re saving, research down payment assistance. Certain types of mortgages and home buyers qualify for down payment assistance programs. Local government agencies or nonprofits typically fund these programs. Ask your real estate agent or mortgage lender for details, or search the Down Payment Resource Center.
Before you settle on a target amount to save for a home down payment, make an appointment to talk with a real estate agent and a home mortgage lender.
While you’re saving, continue to browse homes for sale online and update your needs, wants, and wish lists. You may be able to find – and buy – the home of your dreams much sooner than you expect.
HOW TO KEEP TERMITES OUT OF YOUR GARAGE
Make Lumber Difficult to Access
Termites look for lumber. Be sure to clean up after any wood projects that you take on. Vacuum up or blow out any sawdust that you create, since this can attract a new colony. In addition, you should keep your wood elevated off the ground, and ideally, away from the walls of your garage.
Use a Penetrating Chemical Barrier Around the Foundation
Protect your garage and home with a chemical treatment that will deter termites. Create a perimeter around your home where the chemical will rest and remain active for years to come.
Termites are attracted to sources of moisture and moist environments. Make sure that you clean up any spills in your garage, and try to mitigate the moisture in your space if your garage is often humid. You can install a dehumidifier if moisture continues to be an issue.
Fix Foundation Cracks
If you have a foundation that is cracked, it’s easy for termites to build a colony beneath your garage. Seal foundation cracks with epoxy or a sealer.
Seal off Entryways
Take a look at the doors, windows, and garage door of your space. Note vents, electrical wiring, plumbing, and other protrusions that may extend into your garage. Are there any cracks or holes? Fill them with caulk, cement, plaster, or another material that is appropriate for the application at hand. If you have a door or garage door that isn’t well sealed, you can install better weatherstripping around its edges to form a complete barrier when shut.
Perform Regular Inspections
Keep tabs on your garage with regular termite inspections. Have your property inspected at least once per year to ensure that these pests haven’t built a colony around your home.